about the equities market. the fixed income market on the one that completely changed my life, the commodities market. so how did that change my life? when i started learning about commodities, of course i realized there were certain projects such as oil and gold, but there is also projects that fall into the agricultural commodity segment and those include products like cattle, soybeans, coffee and read like a menu. this is a sign that i was going to be a food writer. everything came together for me when i read the financial news weekly barron's and jim rogers is quoted as saying by brittany spears to what did he mean by this? he was advising people to purchase orange juice futures and pork belly futures, which no longer trade now.
he was essentially saying by orange juice and by bacon. by by chris. ratepayer, that solidified for me what the book concept was going to be. a matchup of food and finance. what i love about food as it really does allow you to tell stories about people, about history. and in this case, finance to a degree. one of the things i found as i went along with a history of america's commodities exchanges really run a parallel course with the history of industrialization and to knowledge in america. by this, i mean the telegraph that really how you seek out prices around the country and around the world. just like talking to your neighbor insane i think this commodity should be priced at this. you are able to find out what it was priced at in chicago and humbert in london. of course we have the telephone. we have computers now.
every good trader has a smartphone in their pocket. i played an important part in getting products in the center of the country or their alerts to produce to the east coast for most of the people relocated. the floors of those financial markets really had changed utterly over time. we will show use of those shortly. what you no longer is it the chalkboards and whiteboards. everything is completely digitize. you no longer have these ankle-deep thickets of trading tickets. you no longer have trading floors. it's just a completely different world now. so we have my lovely expert at hamburger. it's a lunchtime event, so if you are just talking completely about generalities, i thought it would be fun to talk about some of the specifics in this case.
so just to backtrack for a minute and explain what they commodities contracts is, it is essentially a contract between a buyer and a seller to buy or sell a specific quantity of a specific. let's say cattle, beef, the futures market. what isn't spelled out in that contract is the price. it really goes back and forth. the more often that contract trade and the greater the spread between the straits, the more money can be made. talking about our lovely hamburger here, just some of the products ecma. of course we have a hamburger patty, to be. we have cattle futures. obviously you want your hamburger on a ballot. so we are talking about green futures. a sesame seed done, you want a
cheeseburger. she's also trades. it treats a lot less frequently than be futures, but it does indeed trade. some of the other items they are either.trade are no longer trade. i'm not aware of lettuce ever having traded. onions on the other hand used to trade in the u.s. there's a huge scandal associated with onions. let's hear more about it after the q&a. so again, we're still talking about capitals. it really has a very long has three, a long intertwining the finance. you can even see them was a pecuniary and cap on the bull market. this image is a british livestock. i show it to you because i do
not think people realized the extent to which the british have played a very important part that we see today. not just that we eat so much of it, but the type as well. this sort of thing was found across many upper-class british trigrams. the presence of beef in the pictures signified affluent and comfort. as america builds up through the 1800s, an anthrax epidemic on the european continent break to ireland and britain as a result made it very expensive and scarce. so the grace of their beef. they turned to america where he had plenty of eve. we started to ship salted beef and live cattle across the atlantic. this image here is the chicago stockyards. if you appear in the background, you might recognize a couple of
farmers was some current meat processors that also existed at the time. again, we have the anthrax epidemic. at the same time, america felt pushing westward, grazing cattle in the midwest in the mid-question became how to connect the midwest, where the beef was grown and processed in that to the east, where people lived and beyond across the atlantic to the greats who wanted it. so what happened was this british cattle barons played an enormous part in the financing of the railroads. services are built up in the 1870s and 1880s, the births are involved in financing the railroad. what was really exciting with the advent of refrigerated railway cars because it meant no longer did you have to ship live
cattle who often didn't make the journey or what very good shape once it was complete. you are able ship more animal carcasses were defense of his delicately call. by the late 19th century, america was responsible for 90% of the beef to england. now, sounds great, right? one more little wrinkle. the british like their beef very well marveled in the way the cattle was raised here, they were very happy cattle raised in the midwest, grazing on grass is then that yielded very lame youth. so the solution. the british cattle barons and the farmer has been on the solution of finishing our fattening cows with corn. and now were. the cattle got